Household pests contain an “ick” factor that gives any level-headed human the heebie-jeebies. They’re disease-infested, ugly, and slimy…yet satisfying.
If you’re overcome with culinarily creativity, even the most quiver-inducing pests can tickle – while creeping and crawling on – your taste buds.
Here are three delicious dishes featuring pests you’d usually want nowhere near your mouth:
Armadillo and Onions
Have you ever heard of liver and onions? This is similar – but instead of a cow’s liver, it’s an armadillo.
These hard-shelled critters were once known to our neighbours south of the boarder as ‘Hoover hogs’. US citizens were forced to eat the shelled roadkill due to the faltering economy under Herbert Hoover’s presidential tenure. We’re not judging – sometimes you’ve got to eat an armadillo!
Ingredients: 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/2 c. flour, 3 tbsp. fat, 3 lg. onions, sliced, 1 c. sour cream
Oh, and you’ll also need an armadillo.
Cooking Instructions: Soak armadillo meat overnight in salted water (1 tablespoon salt to 1 quart water) then drain, disjoint, and cut up. Season with salt and paprika, then roll into flour, and fry in fat until browned. Cover meat with your chopped onion; sprinkle onions with salt, then pour into the cream. Cover the skillet tightly and simmer for 1 hour.
It’s quite the process, but your Hoover hog will be tender, tangy, and delicious!
Chirp and Turf
Crickets – or as we like to call them, ‘land lobsters’ – possess tons of protein, are low in calories, and are green-friendly. Type in “cricket recipes” on the old Google machine, and you’ll find a litany of delicious results.
Ingredients: Crickets, butter, and steak.
That’s our kind of simplicity.
Cooking Instructions: Place live crickets in a refrigerator until immobilized. Once cooled, pick out any damaged crickets, and rinse the rest in cool water to remove any unwanted substrate. Pat them dry with a paper towel before you heat your butter; place the insects in the hot butter. Fry until brown and crispy. Season to taste.
You’re on your own for the steak, but we suggest grilling until medium-rare. Garnish the steak with the crickets and you’ll have a steak complemented by a delicious, cricket-based crunch!
We’ll admit, this one sounds a bit morbid, like something you’d hear from those “Double, double, toil, and trouble” witches from Macbeth. In fact, the cooking instructions themselves are fit for witchcraft, but the dark magic kind, not the fun-loving Harry Potter kind. Still, as the old saying goes, don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
Ingredients: 3 – 4 fruit bats, well-washed but neither skinned nor eviscerated, water, 1 Tbsp. of finely sliced fresh ginger, 1 large quartered onion, lots of garlic, sea salt to taste, chopped scallions, soy sauce and coconut cream.
To be honest, you could bacon fat fry this with extra bacon, and we’d still have our doubts.
Instructions: Place the bats in a large kettle and add water to ginger, onion, garlic and salt, then bring to a boil and cook for 60 minutes. Strain the broth into a second kettle and take the bats, skin them and discard the skin. Remove the meat from the bones and return it, along with the internal organs (editor’s note: gross!) you fancy in the broth, then heat. Sprinkle with scallions and add further seasoning such as soy sauce or coconut cream for “optimal flavour”.
Okay… we’re actually going to have to knock this one before we try it. Gross.
Wildlife removal and pest control services are probably more appetizing to you than these pest recipes. Lucky for you, Terminix Canada’s pest control services include cricket, bat, and wildlife removal!
Call today for a free inspection from Toronto’s environmentally-friendly exterminator!